Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 5-28-12 |

Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 5-28-12

Those beautiful yards which are shown in magazines make me wistful, though it appears the landscaping is in towns and cities.

Primarily I see things through the eyes of someone who lives on a sandy knoll out in the middle of the prairie, where consequently we have erratic and sometimes extremely strong winds, which would not be favorable to large umbrellas on tables nor to elaborate free-standing trellises and decorative objects. Anything we use needs to be solid, heavy or even dug in. That usually works out though we did have some straight-line winds that snapped our flagpole right off at ground level complete with the flag. The pole was a 3-inch galvanized pipe, a pretty hefty pole. Apparently the flag offered enough resistance as it caught the wind. 

We planted buffalo grass for our lawn and it’s been a great success. It is spreading nicely to the prairie area outside of our lawn property. Most of the rest of the yard is xeriscaped with various types of sedum, and as cousins to cactus, they do not take much water. I’ve found the five deer and several rabbits that frequently come into the yard to eat munch on everything else, but they don’t seem to bother the sedum.

With a large yard we don’t have much for decor simply to make it easier and quicker for the required occasional mowing of buffalo grass around the home. The north section is gravel instead of grass and it has a swing set, an obstacle course with a serious climbing rope and a clothes line – nothing decorative. On that same parcel is a propane tank. It was heavy, stationary and boring. I asked the propane company about painting the tank. I was told that as long as I didn’t paint it black which would cause it to heat more readily and to expand – not a good combination for a propane tank – it would be fine to paint it.

Soon the tank was reincarnated as something to remind me of summer and my favorite food – watermelon. It’s been a fun conversation piece, even artists love it. On those long, dreary winter days the watermelon reminds me of brighter days coming soon.

Peggy writes from the family farm in southwestern South Dakota. Her internet latchstring is out at

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